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Tourism Awareness Week will begin on Sunday, September 27, with a virtual church service, beginning at 9:00 a.m.

The service will be held at Trumpet Call Ministries International, in Montego Bay, and streamed live via the Ministry of Tourism’s Youtube and Facebook pages.

Speaking at a JIS ‘Think Tank’, at the agency’s head office in Kingston, on September 22, Director of Tourism, Donovan White, said that the church service is “a sound way of kicking off the week.”

“The service always provides that level of grounding for the start of Tourism Awareness Week. It brings us all closer to God who provides all things,” he added.

World Tourism Day (September 27) and Tourism Awareness Week (September 27 to October 3) are being celebrated under the theme: ‘Tourism and Rural Development’.

The Ministry of Tourism, its agencies and industry partners will, through a number of virtual events, use the period of celebration to increase awareness on the transformative impact of tourism on rural communities.

Meanwhile, Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, said that tourism has been an agent for transformation.

He noted that transformation is evident in the number of rural communities that have been transformed as a result of tourism’s involvement.

“New roads have been built, water systems established, electricity provided, a better housing facility is provided and importantly also is that immediate convertibility of wealth,” said Mr. Bartlett, adding that as the tourist goes into the community, he or she brings the wealth which is then converted in exchange for the goods and services provided by rural folks.

Other activities for the week will include: a virtual expo on September 30, a webinar on October 2 and social media competitions, including jingle and photo competitions.

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